The FTC will mail more than 356,000 checks — totaling approximately $14 million — to reimburse people who were victimized by a fraudulent telemarketing scheme operated by Suntasia Marketing. In a December 2008 settlement, Suntasia and its affiliates agreed to pay more than $11 million in cash to the FTC and turn over various property to be sold. According to the FTC, from 1999 to 2007, Suntasia deceptively marketed a series of memberships in buyers’ and travel clubs to nearly a million consumers nationwide. Press Release Here.
FRAUD FORUM. Proposes developing more effective ways to protect people from scams, including reaching under-served communities; improving victim assistance; training law enforcers and legal services in the use of new technologies to fight fraud; expanding the number of contributors to the Consumer Sentinel Network database; and encouraging more research on fraud victims and scammers. Press release: www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/12/fraud.shtm.
NEW MATERIALS FOR CONSUMERS
YOU ARE HERE. Helps kids protect their privacy, spot frauds and scams, and avoid identity theft. At the new Security Plaza at www.ftc.gov/youarehere, visitors can build a social networking page, see the unintended consequences of posting personal information, and get tips on how to keep their computers safe while they’re online. In the arcade, visitors can play Info Defender 3 and protect Earthlings from Cyclorian invaders who would steal their identities. www.ftc.gov/youarehere.
TIP OF THE MONTH – NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK (NCPW) 2010
The FTC encourages all Members to participate with other federal, state and local government agencies and consumer protection organizations in the 12th Annual NCPW, March 7-13. This coordinated consumer education campaign provides tips and resources at www.consumer.gov/ncpw to help everyone take full advantage of their consumer rights. This year’s theme -- Dollars & Sense: Rated “A” for All Ages -- highlights the importance of using good consumer sense at every stage of life – from grade school to retirement. The message of NCPW 2010: It’s never too early or too late to become a more informed and empowered consumer. The FTC and its partners are promoting free materials on protecting privacy, managing money and debt, avoiding identity theft, understanding credit and mortgages, and steering clear of frauds and scams. You can download content from www.consumer.gov/ or order free materials at http://bulkorder.ftc.gov. Grab buttons and banners to link to the NCPW site, cut and paste information into your constituent newsletters or blog posts, distribute copies of materials in your offices or use them in a town hall meeting. For more information about how you can promote NCPW in your district, contact Derick Rill at email@example.com.